3D Printed Products - Please Read

The reality is that most companies would not consider using 3D printing for an actual production part (that is changing which is great).  You do see a few printed parts being sold by rocketry companies, but they are usually a companion product rather than a mainstream line.  Our hobby typically does not justify injection molding products other than nosecones, transitions and a few other key items that have a larger market.

SMT Designs mainstream rocketry line is 3D printed products.  3D printing allows for the fabrication of products that can be easily customized, even for one part.  The versatility and breadth of products do come with a cost however.  3D printers take time to extrude a part in plastic.  A few of the parts I have here take three to four hours due to complexity and height.  I can't do a production run and make a few hundred parts in a day.  I also do not use a ten thousdand dollar printer.  There is no reasonable way I could make that type of investment and keep prices as low as I have.  I consider my time doing this as fun and I am not purchasing printer resources from someplace else and having to pass those costs on.  What this all boils down to is that the parts you purchase from SMT Designs will be of a good quality, but if you place a large order (thank you in advance), there will be a delay in shipping to literally make your order.  I will keep you informed and try to meet any deadlines that you have.  If there is something specific that you need in a guaranteed timeframe, get in touch with me before ordering.  I would rather lose your order this time, than not live up to what you had hoped would happen.

Also, there will be times I am away from the facilities that I have and I can't make parts on the road (yet).  Usually, any time away is either Christmas time or a few days before launches that I would like to attend as both a vendor and participant.  I should always be available by cell phone at night and during the day depending on location.

You ask why I am doing this?  It is because I love rocketry and over the years I simply have not had the time to spend on it that I wished I could have.  Well, I retired from the working class two years ago and decided that it was time to apply my skills to what I love.  You can read more about my background, if you like, on the About Us page.  Now I am working harder than I have before, but enjoying it more.

A few other things about 3D printing

  • different parts can differ in color shade.  I have based my parts of a PLA Pro filament from a manufacturer and it is a gray-silver color, but I have seen differences between rolls, so expect slight color differences.  I will do parts in petg if needed.  PLA Pro is fine for normal use in high power, but if you expect to have your rocket in really low or really high temperatures, then petg would be a better (just let me know when you place your order if you need petg parts).  Also, if you really want a series of parts in a different color, contact me.  The part prices will be the same, but there will be one upfront charge for a roll of filament to make your parts ($20-30 depending on color and type).  Of note, a roll is one kilogram, so a roll will make nearly its weight in parts.  3D printing is an additive process and really generates no waste unless you are changing rolls out a lot.  If your pay for a roll, I will keep any remaining filament for subsequent parts you want to order until it is used up.  After that, just let me know what color and I will take care of the roll costs.
  • parts will have small blemishes and other minor differences, but nothing that affects what the part does.  I print, clean and check every part to make sure it is satisfactory and will do the job intended.  They will not look as nice as an injection molded part.
  • the printing tolerances for parts are more relaxed due to environment and filament types.  The parts you receive will work as intended, but expect a small variability in fit between two "identical" parts (less than +0.5% variability).